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The Ed Show

News/Business. (2012)

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Us 23, Boehner 10, John Mccain 9, Mitch Mcconnell 8, Nancy Pelosi 7, John Boehner 7, America 7, Warren 6, Bob Dole 5, Elizabeth Warren 5, Sherrod Brown 5, Kentucky 4, Medicare 3, Harry Reid 3, John Kerry 3, Debbie Stabenow 3, Michigan 3, Pelosi 2, Howard Fineman 2, Mccain 2,
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  MSNBC    The Ed Show    News/Business.  (2012)  

    December 5, 2012
    12:00 - 1:00am PST  

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that has to be brought home to the republicans. they best make it now. if they make it late, there will be hell to pay for all of us. you know who will pay? the people running the government. the politicians. good politicians don't take their countries off of cliffs. "the ed show" starts right now. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" live from washington, d.c. tonight, breaking news from the nation's capital. house democrats are turning the screws on house speaker bain. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> unfortunately, the speaker's proposal is still out of balance. >> the president responds to john boehner, but democratic leader nancy pelosi has a plan to get around the speaker. tonight, leader pelosi joins me for an exclusive interview.
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senator john kerry like you have never seen him before. the statesman from massachusetts scolds the radical right after senate republicans block a u.n. treaty on rights for the disabled because they are concerned about home schooling. you don't want to miss this tape. plus my interview with ohio senator sherrod brown on what looks like a massive win for progressives and elizabeth warren. then senator debbi stabenow of michigan on the latest in the fight to end republican obstruction. and the people creating petitions on the white house website are getting more and more creative. we'll tell you what the new petition to build a death star. good to have you with us. thanks for watching. democrats are determined to extend the middle class tax cuts before the end of the year. that's the bottom line.
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party leaders and members are all on the same page. president obama rejected the latest proposal from john boehner. the president and the democrats are focused on revenue and they are determined to make sure that the top tax rates go up. >> unfortunately, the speaker's proposal right now is still out of balance. he talks, for example, about $800 billion worth of revenues, but he says he's going to do that by lowering rates. when you look at the math, it doesn't work. >> harry reid wasted no time explaining why the boehner proposal is not serious. >> math. you can't get from here to there unless you raise the rates. that's why romney couldn't explain it during the presidential election. no one can explain it because you can't do it. >> jay carney says the speaker's plans raises more questions than answers. >> we don't know who pays. we don't know what we're talking about in terms of actual
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legislation to increase revenues. it's magic beans and ferry dust. >> john boehner's heavy-handed approach to leadership, boehner and the republican steering committee kicked four republican congressmen out of their committee seats for voting against party leadership in the past. but boehner finds himself in an increasingly weak position. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell refused to take a position on boehner's debt plan today. >> i have no particular observation other than i commend the house leadership for trying to move. the process along and getting to a point where hopefully we can have a real discussion. >> house democrats are cranking up the pressure. tim walsh of minnesota introduced a discharge petition on the middle class tax cuts in the house. if it gets 218 signatures, it would get a floor vote before the end of the month.
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>> this is an issue that we all agree on. >> democratic leader nancy pelosi announced a plan for the discharge petition last week. the petition keeps the focus on extending tax cuts for 98% of americans. i spoke to leader pelosi late this afternoon about the strategy and the latest developments in the debt standoff. >> thank you for joining us tonight. >> my pleasure. >> the discharge petition, what are your expectations? >> well, my expectations have already been exceeded because we have over 150 members, house democrats who have signed it and we were only in session a few hours today. >> will you get to 18? >> that would require some republicans to sign up. what we will get is the attention of the country on the fact that we can bring this vote up.
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we can do it by practically unanimous consent. everybody agrees in the country and in the congress that we should have a middle income tax cut. what is holding it up is the republicans holding it hostage for tax cuts for the wealthy. but left to it on its own, we think it would get a unanimous vote in the congress. >> the boehner proposal on its merit, characterize it for us. >> i think it's an assault on the middle class, seniors, investments in the future. we want to come to the table. we know we have to have growth. if you want to reduce the deficit, create jobs. so we know we have to have growth. we know we have to make cuts. we know we have to have revenue. you can't get from here to there without it. so if you read closely what they have in their letter, even though it's bare bones, you have voucher rising of medicare, you have a return to the ryan
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budget, which priorities are not priorities that i think the american people share. >> rates, can there be a deal done with the rates not going up? >> no. i'm an appropriator for a long time in the congress. we used to have an expression. it's not the price. it's the money. this is not to be punitive on the people who make over $250,000. it's just to be fair to the entire country. you need that additional revenue in order to reduce the deficit and continue to make investments in growth. >> if speaker boehner says that, you know, we're not going to move on the rates, where are we? >> i hope that's just a bargaining position. but the fact is we have talked about it two step. do a down payment on cuts, on investments and on revenue this year and then in the next year, take the time to go over what we would do with real revenue reform.
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you can't do it in a matter of weeks right now. >> through this whole process, you want the rates to go up. been very clear on that. medicare age stays the same. and the the benefits don't change. how confident are you that you can protect all that and get what you want? >> i think it's important for the american people to understand the terms we're using. raising the medicare age doesn't really in the overall scheme of things reduce cost. it just makes more of a problem. we still have to deal with the issues of between 65 and 67. so to raise the age sounds okay, that sounds like maybe to some a good idea. i don't even think it sounds like a good idea. but it's not the money raiser people think that it is. so we know that if we go into this, as we did in the affordable care act, we did two things. we slowed the uncrease of
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payments to providers in order to use that money to prolong the life of medicare. we also built into the affordable care act rewarding performance and quality and value of procedures, not quantity of procedures. so it's about quality, not just quantity. >> how convinced are you that they really want to get the entitlements and get them going in a different direction? boehner comes out and he offers basically the ryan plan. this is really what they want, isn't it? >> there's a range as to what they want. there's some who have said publically they think medicare should wither on the vine. the ryan budget is exactly a furtherance of a withering on the vine. it make s it a voucher. it takes money from the medicare system and uses it for high-end
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tax cuts. it's completely opposed to strengthening medicare. so if you're going to have this discussion, i'd love to have it in full view because if you want to debate with me, define your terms. what do you mean by restructuring medicare? making it a voucher? or can we work together to strengthen it to prolong its life, to increase its benefits as we did in the affordable care act. >> what percentage would you put ongoing over the cliff? >> i believe we can get an agreement. i really do. and i think that if our republican friends, they might as well let us know, the answer is no. let's all go home and deal with that. but the fact is that we're here and i'm hopeful that we can come to terms for step one, a down payment in terms of cuts and
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revenue and then addressing the fuller issue of how we make a fairer and more simple tax code. perhaps lowering rates, broadening the base. >> do you think any of these negotiations should be connected to the debt ceil? >> no. >> is that a line in the sand? >>.it makes sense. we have what was called the mcconnell rule, i think it's now known. the the president puts forth what he wants and. the less of two-thirds of the congress that overturns it, then that's how we'd go forward. >> say we go over the cliff. you don't get a deal. politically, how do the democrats look? how do they negotiate from that point on? who has the upper hand, in your opinion? >> again, i'm an optimist and i don't like a hypothetical as disastrous as that. >> but some lawmakers say we are going over the cliff. >> in the anticipation that might be a possibility, a year ago when we agreed to this
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budget control act, we put built-in protections for many of our priorities should we go over the cliff. and i think it's important for people to see that there are protections. we held medicare homeless to 2% of any cuts. we had initiatives, pell grants and the rest that would be protected. >> so this would put the republicans in a position politically? will it hurt them? >> i think it would hurt them because it's important -- the important thing is that the republicans do not want to touch one hair on the head of one person making over $250,000. that is the rub. we have said let's decouple. let's give the american people what they want and we all agree. they said work together. middle income tax cut. what's standing in the way?
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the republican insis stance, holding hostage tax cuts for the high end. if we go over the cliff, it's strict lip for that reason. >> do you think john boehner is looking over his shoulder? >> i don't know. i don't know. i think he's a decent fellow. i might get in trouble for saying that. but i'm the last person to talk about what the politics of the republican caucus are. >> he's moved people out of committee positions that didn't get in line. >> that's so unknown to us in our democratic caucus because we're used to diversity of opinion, diversity in every possible way. i'm so proud of our caucus now because we're going to be a majority. a majority will be women and minorities and lbgt community members. that's a beautiful thing. so there's a lot of diversity. generational, geographic, ethnic, in every way.
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>> but that heavy-handed operation that he has, doesn't that signal how tough he's going to be to negotiate with democrats o on this. >> again, it's a concept unknown to us in our caucus in terms of you're too much to the right so you go. you're too much to the moderate, so i can't speak to it. >> you're very proud of the diversity in the democratic caucus. proud of the diversity in leadership. why is this so significant? >> it's significant because our caucus looks like america and so do our chair people. half of our chairman will be women and minorities. and some of it is historic. we have our senior democrat be maxine waters on financial services. the chairman of what we used to call the powerful appropriations committee, that's just the beginning of it. women across the board in chairmanship.
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>> there's been so much made about christmas and the holiday that congress is notorious for taking it up to the last 11th hour and doing something to get out of town. do you want to respond to that? >> i think that's an irresponsible position. and again, we're waiting for the republicans to come to the table seriously. not to toy with the christmas holiday, but to let people have confidence to buy toys. the consumers are waiting to hear that markets are waiting for the confidence to hear that we're going to be doing something. and even these two weeks are vital weeks in terms of our economic growth and what we would like to see happen. people have to know that come january, they can pay the bills for what they bought in december and we want them to have that middle income tax cut that puts money in the pockets of middle income families. 98% of the american people. >> house democratic leader nancy
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pelosi with me earlier today. you get a sense here on capitol hill it's all about the rates. if the democrats don't get the rates they want, forget the rest of the conversation. a lot of lawmakers are on the democratic side. get your cell phones out. tonight's question, can both parties reach an agreement on the fiscal cliff before the end of the year? text a for yes, text b for no. you can go to our blog and leave a comment. we encourage that. we'll bring results later on in the show. coming up, more of my interview with nancy pelosi. and the republicans so-called fiscomisal stay tuned. new prilosec otc wildberry is the same frequent heartburn treatment as prilosec otc. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted.
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elizabeth warren is close to locking up a spot on the banking committee. sherrod brown of ohio on what it means for consumers. and later senator john kerry
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takes on republicans for voting down a treaty to protect the rights of the disabled. howard fineman on what senator kerry calls one of the saddest days in the senate. share your thoughts with us on facebook and on twitter. we're coming right back.
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welcome back to "the ed show." republicans say it will hurt business if we raise revenues. but business leaders are telling nancy pelosi a different story. more now on my interview with the democratic leader in the house.
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>> we put a graph on tv last night. corporate profits through the roof, wages down over the last ten years. there's a real separation there. what are the ceos saying when they come on capitol hill? >> overall, that's what we're hearing from them. they understand revenue has to be part of it. that doesn't address the disparity you talked about. but in ferms of what they say about this, i don't even remember one of them saying we did k not touch revenues. i don't know why they haven't convinced our republican colleagues that everybody recognizes if you want growth, you need to have investments, but. you have to establish your priorities carefully and you must have revenue to make that happen. the tax cuts for the high end are one of the biggest factors increasing the deficit. think of it this way. tax cuts for the wealthy, give the tax cuts to the wealthy and
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send the bill to your children because it's only going to increase the deficit. it's not going to create jobs. it's not going to inject demand into the economy that will create jobs. this is a bad deal all around. what we need is to make a judgment about what we do. does it reduce the deficit? >> joining me now is senator sherrod brown. senator, good to have you with us tonight. your comments on what nancy pelosi has to say about revenue. >> she's right. you look at a little history in the 1990s. the upper one or 2 or 5% were paying more in taxes. just a little bit more. we had 21 million private sector job creation, net job creation. when george bush cut taxes on the wealthy in 2001 and 2003, we've had no real job growth and no wage growth during this past decade. we're finally now after ten straight years of manufacturing job decline hitting places like
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toledo and cleveland and cincinnati particularly hard, we're seeing now in the last two years after the auto rescue, after we're doing some of the right things here, we're seeing job growth. i agree with what nancy pelosi said. history improves itself. >> so based on history, this is about math and not ideology. the sense i get on the hill today, if you don't get the rate increase, you can forget everything else. >> we have seen in this country a decline in infrastructure in the last 30 years. that means everything from investment in community colleges, health care, highways and bridges, all of that. and we need these revenues particularly from upper income people. if the president would back down here or if we would lose this fight, it would say we're never going to increase taxes on the wealthy.
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>> if it's about the rates, that means john boehner's proposal is doa. >> his proposal is doa for a couple reasons. the math doesn't add up. >> he says he won't raise rates. he's getting heat on the hill today from people in his caucus about why did you put too much on the table? this tea party wing of the republican party over there in his caucus is telling him we'll give him the rates. >> it leaves us that john boehner is going to have to compromise. it might means he needs 50 republican vote, but the fact is there was an election. after 2010 boehner could claim that the public spoke. 2012 millions and millions and millions more people vote eed. in my state more than a million more voters in ohio alone voted in significant numbers for president obama, increased numbers of senate and house democrats. all of us said we need to raise the rates for upper income people asking them to pay a
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little more. just what they paid a decade ago when the economy took off and we had a surplus instead of the tax cuts for the rich. they left us with fewer jobs and lower wages and budget deficits. >> can you keep the moment up in the public arena? 53% of americans say republicans will get the blame if we go off the cliff. are you confident democrats are going to be able to win it this fight? only 27% would blame the president. how confident are you that that number will hold? >> that number gets better because the public is more and more as the deadline gets near and the fiscal cliff approaches and becomes eminent, the public pays more attention. the facts are clear on this. the election said that we raise rates on the wealthiest people. just ask them to pay a bit more. the election said that basically they didn't believe republicans if they could produce more revenues.
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the public believes republicans want to stick it to the middle class. the show says that every day. they are understanding it as we get closer to the fiscal cliff. >> it says a signal to people that the senate passed tax cuts for 98% of americans but they won't do it in the house. that was before the election. and i just holding the ground is going to be important, no question about that. i get a sense the democrats are unified. but going over the cliff, that affects the constituents big time. correct? >> how do you hold that together? >> there's unanimity that july 25th, we passed tax cuts for the 98% to continue this tax policy that they get an average tax cut meaning if it expires, their taxes go up. republicans know that. republicans know if they don't
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do it by january 1st, we're going to keep passing tax cuts for the middle class. if they keep saying no, eventually they won't because the public pressure will be on them they need to step up. they have to quit protecting. they do everything in the name of the wealthy. >> okay. sherrod brown, stay with us. i appreciate it. it looks like senator-elect elizabeth warren, a champion of financial reform, will get a spot on the banking committee. and senator john mccain hints he might favor filibuster reform. debbie stabenow is here on rule changes. stay with us. we're right back.
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to all the small business owners who are tired of the system rigged against them, we're going to hold the big guys accountable. >> welcome back to "the ed show." that's elizabeth warren of massachusetts who has been a true champion of holding the big guys accountable. they might be in for a rude awakening. warren will likely become a member of the banking committee. nothing is final until it's confirmed by caucus. warren will have influence over proposed regulations of wall street and the banking industry. it would be a perfect
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development for progressives in the country. elizabeth warren practically created the consumer financial proex bureau as part of financial reform. warren would be and has been a great choice to the agency. but republicans threaten to block it. lobbyists reportedly fought warren being chosen for the committee. if she gets the spot, she'll be one of the senators making sure financial reform has real teeth. i'm joined by senator sherrod brown of ohio who is also a member of the senate banking committee. i tell you what, there's so much twitter world and so much blog sphere talk about her coming on this committee. how much of a vital voice would this be? >> it would matter in the ways you say. this is a committee that historically was frankly too close to the banking committee. i think with what tim johnson has done, who is the chair of this committee now, it's become
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more focused on housing and more focused on consumer issues. we saw that in some of the provisions in dodd-frank. i don't know if senator-elect warren once she's a senator will be on the banking committee. i'm hopeful she will. but what it will mean is she will stand up and join senator jack reid, several of us on this committee that have had a pro-consumer attitude. i've worked on legislation -- one of the reasons that wall street came in in my campaign against me, i worked to break up the trillion-dollar banks because they are too big to manage and too big to regulate leading to too big to fail. her joining us on that committee will matter. she will speak strongly to make sure wall street reform is carried out the way we meant it. to make sure it's as strong as possible and make sure we can move further. >> is dodd-frank and financial
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reform still in a crucial stage? >> yeah. it's still not fully implemented. the regulations still aren't fully enforced and in place. and there's more to do. we lost on my amendment to two and a half years ago to break up the six largest banks. six banks who are size from $800 billion to trillions of. they represent 65% of their assets. 65% of the u.s. gdp. they are too powerful. i'm not speaking for senator warren, but i expect her to join us in continuing those efforts to make this legislation stronger, make sure the enforcement powers are where they belong and make sure regulators can do their jobs. >> president obama has tried to reform wall street. taken a lot of heat for it. they have accused him of being
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anti-business. a lot of positive figures out there in the economy. does a second term present a great opportunity for him to follow through on wall street reform? because there are some in the community that think he was a disappointment in that regard. >> first of all about the economy, my state right after the auto rescue, my state's unemployment rate was 10.6%. now it's down to 6.9%. that's because of a lot of things. partly trade enforcement that you've talked about. and partly the auto rescue. all those things together. i think the president knows that we need to continue to make sure the regulations are strong. part of that is done by his administration and part of it is by congress. we know he will work with senator merkley, senator schumer, people who have been involved on these issues. and i'm optimistic we move
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forward. >> thank you for joining us tonight. coming up, senator mitch mcconnell rails against reform, but john mccain doesn't agree. michigan senator debbie stabenow on filibuster reform. later senator john kerry delivers an emotional response during debate today. and the white house's petition site makes civic engagement easy. maybe too easy. i'll show you one of the more creative petitions out there. stay with us.
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who have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp, an organization serving the needs of people 50 and over for generations. remember, all medicare supplement insurance plans help cover what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you thousands a year in out-of-pocket costs. call now to request your free decision guide. and learn more about the kinds of plans that will be here for you now -- and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for watching tonight. senate republicans are holding america's progress hostage with the filibuster. they have blocked legislation like the veterans jobs act, which is killing thousands of jobs in the process. now senate democrats want action.
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they want to change e. senate majority leader harry reid wants three changes to the filibuster. they would make debates public and provide a shorter timeframe for breaking filibusters. these are minor reforms and the filibuster can still be used. republican minority leader mitch mcconnell railed against the changed earlier today. he said they were an effort to marginalize the minority party. harry reid hit right back atd the gentleman from kentucky and referenced this comment senator john mccain made on monday. >> mr. chairman, i again apologized for what seems to have happened and much to my dismay it lends some credence to the argument that we ought not to do business the way that we are doing here in the the united states senate. >> senator john mccain was blaming rand paul of kentucky for holding up amendments on the defense authorization bill.
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in the process, mccain gave credence to filibuster reform. his comments step all over mitch mcconnell's claim. it's not an effort to marginalize the minority party. with 386 filibusters from republicans, these rule changes are simply a way to make the senate work again. that's what you pay them for. let's turn now to senator debbie stabenow of michigan. there's been a lot of conversation in the liberal community in this country about this. and democrats seem to be chomping at the bit. is this going to happen? are we going to see change? >> yes, i believe that we are going to see change. we have the support to make the changes and i think it's clear the public wants us to get something done. of course, we're going to work across the aisle, but one person shouldn't be able to hold up the department of defense bill or in the case of my bringing jobs home act, which is so important
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for shipping jobs overseas, we had 57 votes but we couldn't get 60 to stop a filibuster and they haven't to stand on the floor and talk so nobody knew who it was from block us to closing loopholes to bring jobs home. this is common sense. >> so senator, what's your response to mitch mcconnell what he says the filibuster reform is an effort to marginalize the minority party? >> it's crazy. he has been marginalizing the majority party. the last six years, there were 386 filibusters. in the six years that lyndon johnson was the majority leader at that time, there was one. one. because it was only used in the most extraordinary of circumstances. now they do it on everything. everything. even a department of defense bill that ended up passing today 98-0. they still slow walked it every
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step of the way. >> so does john mccain help you? i mean does his comments give credence to the reform that you're having on this debate? >> well, certainly it does help us. i think senator rand's behavior and other's behavior does help us. i would love to see senator mccain join us. it's questionable whether he will at this point, but the reality is the public wants us to get something done, to work together. we know that a minority view needs to be protected in the senate. you shouldn't be able to block things for the sake of blocking progress in solving problems. >> it was very clear. mitch mcconnell wanted to make barack obama a one-term president. do you get a sense they are going to do that again? let's say ewe didn't make the changes. would it be a repeat of the last session of congress? >> i absolutely do.
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even though there are members that want to work across the aisle, we're having better conversations now. and i appreciate that. colleagues on both sides of the aisle. but in the end, with the same leader and the same wind set. it would be the same thing. the public deserves better. >> quickly, i understand you're having a press conference tomorrow with senator schumer on middle class tax cuts. from what i can gather, it's all about the rates. >> we're doing a countdown. we got 27 days before middle-class families see an increase in their taxes of $2,200. i had one constituent share with me, that's four months worth of groceries for her family. that makes no sense. we passed our bill. the first $250,000, we passed it in july. we need to make sure middle class isn't burdened.
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>> senator, thank you for r your time tonight. next up, that's no moon. that's a space station. the white house petition site gets an interesting call r for action. stay tuned.
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we love hearing from our viewers on twitter and facebook. many of you are responding to an article on our blog about college students who have barricaded themselves on plans to charge tuition for the first time opinion donna says, it's free in other countries. if the student qualifies, no reason why there should not be the same opportunity here. peggy said she would much rather pay tuition than wars. wouldn't mind paying taxes if that happened. and marjorie believes the more educated people we have, the better the country.
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keep sharing your thoughts with us on facebook and on twitter. republicans vote down a treaty to protect the disabled despite support for high profile republicans like bob dole. find out why. we are back. with beano me, or treat gas with these after you get it. now that's like sunblock before or sun burn cream later. oh, somebody out there's saying, now i get it! take beano before and there'll be no gas.
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we are back. the white house's website was created to provide an online platform for citizens to petition the obama administration to take action on issues that they find very important to themselves. the the site makes civic engagement easy and has sparked some interesting causes. and its policy of issuing a response if a petition gathering 25,000 signatures in 30 days has caught the attention of the internet trolls. it was the forum used by over 100,000 texans to secede from the united states, which
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resulted in another petition in -- to withdraw. anything can happen. you can see where this is going. but there's one petition on the site that we here at "the ed show" can certainly get behind. it's a substantial stimulus project that would create millions of jobs, boost america's steel industry, got to love that, expand our space program, and basically guarantee our national security. what could be better? someone has petitioned the administration to build a death star. the fictional moon-size space base capable of destroying entire planets from "star wars." just under 2,000 people have signed the petition to ask president obama to secure the resources of constructing a death star. which means it still needs about
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23,000 signatures before the obama administration is actually expected to issue a response. we want a response. but i'm guessing with the way the fiscal cliff negotiations are going the estimated $852 quadrillion dollars of funding needed for one alone just isn't in the cards. dog gone it. i'm going to sign up tonight. can both parties reach an agreement ones fiscal cliff? 40% of you say yes, 60% say no. coming up, this could be one of the dumbest votes the republicans have ever cast in the history of the senate. we'll talk about the big win and the emotional reaction from moderates. that's next. what's next?
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in the big finish tonight, this is a jaw-dropping example of how powerful and backwards the tea party republicans can absolutely be. earlier today the senators had to decide whether to ratify a bill about the disablesed. they rolled out their theories. john mccain delivered a withering response. >> if the facts are against, then argue the law. if the law is against you, then argue the facts. . if both are against you, just make it up. well, that's exactly what's
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happening. because to join is to keep faith with the men and women who have suffered disability in defense of our nation and we owe them nothing less. this treaty is not about changing america. it's about america changing the world. this vote is to test whether the senate will stand up for those who cannot see or hear and whether senators can hear the truth and see the facts. >> these are the facts. the treaty ensures equal opportunity for disabled adults and kids around the world. it's supported by every major veterans and disability group in america. 152 countries have already ratified the treaty including china and russia. the treaty is modelled after existing u.s. law. former senator bob dole is 89 years old. he just got out of the hospital yesterday. and today he kaim to the senate floor in a wheelchair to support
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the treaty. eight republicans and two independents voted for the treaty including john mccain. but it wasn't enough. the treaty failed 61-38. >> it was solid then. he means it. and i think the organizing around it is so important. the labor movement, consumer groups, women's groups. >> i'm joined by a columnist for the nation magazine and howard fineman, msnbc political analyst. great to have you with us. howard, you first. when bob dole comes to the senate and he can't move people, where is the common sense? >> the senate is lost. that's the way i would put it. bob dole, one of the most revered figures. he's almost literally on his death bed a week or two ago. who commoned the courage to come to the senate to be the
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conscious on something he championed in 1990. this was senator bob dole, a republican. president george h. bush, republican. dick thorneberg, republican. this was a republican-sponsored idea. it won huge bipartisan support. and now in 37 other republicans seen ghosts really tied up the senate and dishonored, i think, senator dole's tradition and john mccain's as well. >> what does this say about the republican party and their lack of concern for veterans? which they always tell everybody they are so concerned about? >> i think what it says is that they are more deeply committed to their strategy of paranoia about the role of government than they are to supporting our men and women in uniform. what they have done today is laid their cards on the table. they will use each and every opportunity to keep their base paranoid, angry, in an effort to undermine our democracy.
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i believe there are smart, committed republicans there wanting to dedicate themselves to service our country. but they have to get this wing of their party in line. they are dangerous to our democracy. >> do you think there's sole searching going on? what have we become? >> i don't think among those 38 who voted no. i don't think so at all. i think with john mccain, who after all was the standard barer in 2008, has mixed history with the conservative wing. even john boehner and i would bet you somewhere in the recesses of his heart and mind mitch mcconnell. mitch mcconnell is up in 2014 in kentucky. he never wins going away in kentucky. that's an issue there. there will be lots of others. but not these 38. they really do see it as the hand of the united states in world government reaching down
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into local towns in utah and telling them how to deal with their disabled kids. >> how do they repair this? >> i don't know they do. mcconnell is facing the boehner problem. he's having his leadership undercut. and they understand that what's being threatened is their ability to govern. they have priorities they have to get through. so he's got to actually exert a firmer hand. we're starting to see that with boehner. but howard is right. mcconnell has an election at stake. >> he hired rand paul's campaign manager to be his campaign manager in the upcoming race. >> i look at the democrats of this. the the veterans of the senate, the old guard, the statesman. there was still respect available. it just seems lost today. >> you make a very important point. it's true of the baby boom generation. very few of them have the bonding national e